Chief Judge Evans expands minority participation in Court Lawyer Referral Program Released on 5/9/2012 1:53:39 PM
Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans today announced that he has asked a consortium of minority bar organizations to join the court’s In Court Lawyer Referral Program, a decades-old court-based program that provides low-cost legal representation to qualifying defendants.
Beginning in July 2011, the consortium will alternate on a monthly basis with the Chicago Bar Association in supplying attorneys at Circuit Court of Cook County court locations where the CBA is currently participating in the In Court Referral Program.
Chief Judge Evans said, “This action continues my goals to expand excellence and diversity within all aspects of court operations, and to offer members of the public who come to court without a lawyer the opportunity to obtain affordable legal representation on the day they appear in court.”
Led by the Cook County Bar Association, the consortium includes the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area, the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc., the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, and the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois.
Chief Judge Evans explained that the In Court Lawyer Referral Program is available to those defendants appearing in court for traffic offenses, misdemeanor offenses and felony preliminary hearings who come to court without a lawyer and do not qualify for representation by the Office of the Public Defender. Judges refer such defendants to on-site attorneys supplied by participating bar associations.